Sagging home sales and flat prices have prompted speculation that the “housing bubble” might be
about to burst — a prospect that immediately catches the attention of British Columbians.
But there is no housing bubble, according to Tsur Somerville, director of the University of B.C.’s Centre
for Urban Economics in the Sauder School of Business.
“You can’t burst a bubble that wasn’t there,” said Somerville. “But you can have prices above where
they should be and it not be a bubble.
“A bubble isn’t just defined by high prices,” he said. Somerville identified a housing “bubble” as conditions akin to what was happening in 2007.
“It didn’t matter what the condo looked like or what it’s going to look like or who was building it, people
were lined up around the block and snapping it up,” he said. “They were saying, ‘I’ll take 12, please.’
That’s more of a bubble environment.”
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